Comment Central urges shoppers to look beyond Amazon and eBay this Christmas and in the New Year and to instead consider ethical, lower cost alternatives, such as e-retail disruptor, Wholee. 

The Omicron wave suggests last Christmas's high rates of consumer online shopping will be sustained. For many, online retailers like Amazon and eBay will be the go-to choice. But this Christmas we're urging shoppers to look beyond the obvious and instead consider other choices like Wholee, the ethical, low price online retail platform that's disrupting the global online retail market on both sides of the Atlantic.

  1. Rock Bottom Prices

Everyone loves a bargain. For many consumers price is a key determinant factor. For this very reason, offering a low price is central to Wholee's offering. Its unique model sees it work directly with the manufacturer to cut out unnecessary mark-up costs, including marketing and commission fees, which often amount to as much as 50 to 100 per cent of the cost of making the good. This model also shields consumers from so-called 'price gouging' ? common among Wholee's competitors, including Amazon and eBay. The practice sees the price of goods skyrocket during peaks in demand. During the pandemic, price gouging on Amazon and eBay led to essential items, such as hand sanitiser and toilet roll, priced at ten times its pre-COVID price. The practice has become so bad that in the US lawmakers are talking about making the practice illegal following reports of Amazon and eBay ramping up the price of children's toys.

  1. Scam free

Fraudulent scams on Amazon and eBay are continuing to increase. Unscrupulous cyber thieves are exploiting the pandemic. Last month, Mail Online found that eBay was the third most commonly used site by online thieves looking to turn the pandemic to their advantage by conning thousands of anxious consumers. Many Amazon users frequently face bogus calls from 'Amazon staff' to discuss new deals and promotions, only to have private information stolen. eBay often fails to protect its users and is frequently accused of dodging its responsibility of taking down fake goods that they allow to be posted on their site. Being negligent in terms of consumer safety is another common charge levelled against Amazon and eBay with the online giants doing little to protect their users. In contrast, Wholee is resolute in their belief that it should not be the consumer's responsibility to avoid these scams. Instead, it falls to the retailer to have appropriate measures in place to protect their customers.

  1. Choice

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Amazon has faced widespread criticism following its alleged exploitation of competition rules. Just last month the European Commission praisedthe Italian authorities for their decision to fine Amazon over ?1bn for abusing its market position.  In the past the retail giant has been accused of retaining sensitive data from SMEs to aid in their own sales. Wholee is steadfast in its commitment to being an ethical online retail alternative to challenge the dominance of eBay and Amazon. It's devoted to free competition and ensuring customers get the best products at the best price.

It is right that online retail should be an essential way for us to ensure we have presents to put under the Christmas tree to be shared with our loved ones, but it's important we don't sacrifice our principles for the sake of convenience. Fortunately, competition is taking place and we're beginning to see the emergence of exciting new online retail platforms begin to challenge the dominance of the existing platforms.

  1. Win-Win situation for manufacturers

Typically, those selling goods via e-retail sites face high charges. Amazon not only charges a $40 monthly subscription fee to their sellers, but also takes a commission cut ranging from 15 to 45 per cent of a product's sale price. There is also an additional $0.99 fee for each item sold. These fees levied upon third party merchants are applied to half of all the items sold on Amazon. Combined, they netted the retail giant a staggering $3.2 billion in the third quarter of 2021. Wholee's zero-mark up policy means manufacturers don't pay any commission fees or alternative hidden costs. Wholee's pricing policy encourages manufacturers to use its shopping platform driving down consumer prices and increasing the range of goods available.

  1. Low shipping costs

Online retailers who use independent and third-party sellers often require consumers to pay additional shipping costs. The more items purchased by a consumer from third-party retailers see delivery costs spiral. At eBay, merchants themselves set their shipping fee rates, which often leads to customers being overcharged. Though Amazon offers 'Amazon Prime', like eBay it also relies on third-party sellers outside of the 'prime' service. This creates a varied and inconsistent cost for consumers where they are often overcharged for shipping fees. At Wholee, the shipping cost is always consistent, irrespective of the number of items per order or the seller you buy from. With their efficient global logistics service, consumers are guaranteed the lowest shipping cost every time.

The Omicron variant means many consumers will have no choice but to shop online for their loved ones' gifts again this Christmas. While the internet offers great variety in the goods available it also offers variety on where we buy them from. It's important that we consider both this Christmas!

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